Dr. Tony Aidoo, a former Deputy Minister of Defence under the erstwhile Jerry John Rawlings administration is reported to have had a hefty slap from a pedestrian after John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration was inaugurated in the year 2001, Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi has reported.
In his book ‘Working With Rawlings’, Prof. Ahwoi wrote that the former Minister was driving home in his private car after a program on Vibe 91.9 FM when an unknown pedestrian slapped him on his face at a traffic light in Asylum Down.
Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi noted that young boys and girls hawking their wares along the streets close to traffic lights appeared to have been organized as they rained chants of ‘awi ooo, awi ooo, awi ooo’ to wit ‘thief, thief, thief’ at patrons they could identify as having worked with the NDC administration when such public figures got to the traffic lights and their vehicles stopped.
The precursor to that incident was that Dr. Tony Aidoo had been accused by Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the then Chief of Staff at the Presidency, that official government vehicles had been stolen by members of the previous NDC administration.
This, Prof. Ahwoi said, “was taken up by the media, and followed by legal and illegal squads of NPP operatives going through homes and private offices of the ex-NDC appointees in search of the alleged stolen vehicles”.
Ahwoi said that President Kufuor at the time joined the fray, alleging that the official saloon cars purchased by the departing ministers had been undervalued.
“He [Kufuor} issued an ‘edict’ that the affected ministers should either pay the difference between the prices at which they purchased the cars and the supposed revalued prices determined by him or return the cars,” Prof. Ahwoi’s book read.
Some ministers, according to Prof. Ahwoi, returned their cars but ten of them including Mike Hammah, Kwamena Ahwoi, Martin Amidu, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Cecilia Johnson, Margaret Clerke-Kwesie and Ama Benyiwa-Doe refused to pay the alleged difference or to return the cars. Instead, they sued the government for breach of contract and violation of their constitutional rights to own property.
After a long legal battle that ran from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, it was held that the “plaintiff-appellants should neither pay the alleged difference [nor] park the cars, but should instead get their bankers to guarantee that they (the bankers) would pay should the plaintiff-appellants lose the case and not be able to pay the judgment debt”.